I work in a jurisdiction that hasnít had the best record in professionalism. To be fair, actual professional planning hasnít been around that long either: about 25 years or so. Anyway, itís been appearing to me that many of the planning/zoning issues that come through our office are issues that resulted from badly or poorly or incompletely thought through applications or advice by previous staff. I am reluctant to cast aspersions on that same said previous staff (in part because my successors might want to do the same thing) but I canít help sometimes thinking to myself, ďWhat were they thinking?Ē Or not thinking, as the case may be.
These are issues that todayís staff has to spend a great deal of time cleaning up. Things like unrecorded plat approvals, conditional re-zonings (I know Ė WTF!) and conditional plat approvals (I know Ė WTF!), poorly or incompletely processed use permits and actual violations of state statutes by staff. The worst example of a statute violation is a wholesale re-write of the zoning and subdivision code by a predecessor that obviously didnít know what he were doing. The document was full of holes, inconsistencies and conflicts and weíve been struggling with it for 10 years. (We just now fixed it by another wholesale re-write and our electeds are paying more attention).
It just seems to me that more than half of what I do involves cleaning up messes made by previous staff. To those of you in the public sector, do you have the same experience? How much time do you have to spend re-processing or otherwise fixing past staff planner mistakes?